Xherdan Shaqiri’s Fantasy Premier League price dropped today from 7.0m to 6.9m. This was a surprise for some of his owners as player price change prediction sites like FPL Statistics and FantasyFootballFix (FFF) had him a long way from a fall. The latter recorded Shaqiri at -24.4 per cent at the time of the fall, while the former reportedly had him at +14 per cent.
Either way, both were a long way out. How could this happen?
The FPL added Shaqiri on August 12, midway through Gameweek 2. During Gameweeks 2 to 4, the Stoke City midfielder gathered just over 100,000 owners. A problem for us – and the price change prediction sites – is working out how many of those net transfers in actually counted.
There are two big factors that could have affected the figures here:
- The player is locked
- Wildcard transfers
A player is locked when he joins the game to give him time to gain base ownership like a player in pre-season. Historically, players added to the game were price locked for eight days – i.e. more than one gameweek – or longer if the period coincided with an international gameweek. If that rule is still in place, Shaqiri should have unlocked midway through Gameweek 3. However, we also know that Chelsea player Pedro should have unlocked the day before the Gameweek 4 deadline, but it appears he remained locked through Gameweek 5. That could have been because of the close proximity of the international break, so we can’t assume either way that the FPL has changed the lock period and applied it to Shaqiri. To add to the confusion, Shaqiri was red flagged on August 14 and the removal of that the next day could have extended his lock period too.
It is believed that wildcards count for little or nothing towards price changes. Looking at Shaqiri’s daily net transfers in, it appears the vast majority of the buyers in Gameweeks 2 and 3 brought him in during the traditional lock period. In Gameweek 4, after Shaqiri’s assist in Gameweek 3, the Swiss winger gained another 60,000 net transfers in. That was also the second busiest wildcard gameweek of the season so far, with nearly a quarter of a million wildcards activated. The price change sites will have tried to adjust their predictions to account for the wildcard transfer activity, but it is an inexact science.
From Gameweek 4 to Gameweek 7 Shaqiri shed owners. During this period another 435,000 wildcards were played. The sales have continued into this week and he is now in about 40,000 fewer teams than he was at his peak. FFF had Shaqiri at 67.7 per cent of the way to a price rise when his NTI turned, so they would have thought he would have had to shed tens of thousands of owners on transfers that count before he even returned to negative territory. But if he was mainly bought in by players wielding wildcards, then sold by those players using free transfers in the weeks after, his peak rise percentage may not have been as high as the price change prediction sites estimated and more of his sales may have counted than they thought.
My guess – and it is only an educated guess – is that Shaqiri was a perfect storm of wildcard transfers in and free transfers out. As Shaqiri’s price had not changed until today, the price change prediction sites had not received a new baseline figure indicating the impact of the lock and wildcard transfers. Now they have that information they should be able to predict his future price changes with more accuracy.
If you have a player in your team who was a popular purchase in Gameweeks 3 or 4 and his price hasn’t changed since then, you might want to keep a close eye on the direction of his NTI to avoid an unexpected price drop.